In one instance last week, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) used his turn to address the Republican healthcare repeal bill on the floor of the House to invoke the Nazis. “They say it's a government takeover of healthcare, a big lie just like Goebbels,” Cohen said Jan. 18. “You say it enough, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie, and eventually, people believe it.”
Another floor speech that has drawn some attention was given by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), who linked repeal of the healthcare law to the government depriving citizens of their lives. “The Fifth Amendment speaks specifically to denying someone their life and liberty without due process,” Jackson Lee said. “That is what H.R. 2 (the Republican repeal legislation) does, and I rise in opposition to it. And I rise in opposition because it is important that we preserve lives and we recognize that 40 million-plus are uninsured.”
And the stark talk continued off Capitol Hill. During a Jan. 19 Web chat sponsored by the Brookings Institution, Henry Aaron, one of its senior fellows, moved seamlessly from civil to war when describing arguments surrounding the healthcare law. “It is said that truth is the first casualty of war, and judging from last year's charges against the bill, this is, indeed, a war—and one that is virtually certain to continue for at least two more years and, probably, a good deal longer than that,” he wrote.